According to a report by ECO, most Portuguese municipalities will not have spaces for football fans to watch the World Cup in Qatar. Although some repudiate the disrespect for human rights in the country, they ensure that the decision not to have these spaces during the 2022 tournament is not a form of protest, as other European cities have assumed. It is due instead to the investment that would be required because it is a rainy and cold season, or because other initiatives are planned.
The mayor of Braga, Ricardo Rio, told ECO that “although the municipality repudiates the lack of respect for human rights in Qatar, that is not what determines this option for not organizing the Fan Zone”. “A World Cup that takes place in the middle of winter would require a significant investment on the part of the municipality in logistics”.
Some French cities, like Paris and Marseille, will not create fan zones in the main squares as a way of boycotting the Football World Cup in Qatar. Because of the exploitation of workers during the construction of stadiums for the event and the attacks on human rights.
In this regard, the mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, pointed out to Lusa that “the choice of a country like Qatar, very small geographically, with the issue of heat and human rights, seemed to be a bad deal for football.”
“It is something that has not improved, and the issue of the rights of workers and the people who died there in the construction of stadiums worries me more than anything else. It is something that does not dignify the world of football.”
Despite this , the Porto Chamber guarantees that the decision not to have public areas for citizens to watch the World Cup matches has nothing to do with its position on Qatar, but is due to the weather conditions and the investment that all the logistics would require.
Lisbon is another of the cities that will not create areas with screens. In response to ECO, the municipality states that “the Lisbon City Council will not have any fan zone in the city to follow the Qatar World Cup”.
Albufeira council said that they will also not have any screens, stating that “restaurants, cafes and hotels will focus on this aspect and, therefore there would not be many people wanting the screens, particularly in the winter”.
The Municipality of Matosinhos is also on the list of municipalities that will not have this type of space. “We are not going to have a giant screen for viewing the games. Unlike other competitions, as this year the World Cup takes place in winter, there are no favourable weather conditions for outdoor gatherings”, justifies the municipality, in statements to ECO.
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